LPN in boy’s death suspended for drug diversion

Autopsy report: Ryley Maue's medication had been watered down

Ryley Maue
An undated courtesy photo of Ryley Maue.


ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) — Prosecutors are waiting for police reports before deciding on possible charges against a former nurse in the death of a 4-year-old boy.

Autopsy reports show a caregiver is under investigation for siphoning off medicine that was meant to keep Ryley Maue alive, and replacing what she took with water or another liquid.

A source close to the investigation identified her as 40-year-old Kalamazoo woman, then a licensed practical nurse.

The source said the nurse also is under investigation for a similar allegation involving a child in nearby Barry County.

Ryley Maue was suffering from cerebral palsy and needed liquid Valium to ease seizures, according to his autopsy report. He died of a seizure in August; the Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death a homicide.

Michigan licensing records show the woman had been an LPN since 2008, but that the state suspended her license just last month. The state cited negligence, incompetence, lack of good moral character and drug diversion.

Ryley’s mom, Toni Ward, told 24 Hour News 8 the nurse provided overnight care at her family’s home in Allegan for both her young sons.

“She was the sweetest person that can be,” the mom said. “She gave you the trust that you could trust her, and then she let you down.”

The former LPN from Kalamazoo, whose name is not being released, worked for a Kentwood-based home health care company. The boy’s mom said the nurse was assigned to her home for about six weeks.

“I had a day-time nurse that noticed that it was tampered with,” the mom said of the liquid valium. “I wouldn’t have ever guessed.”

The diluted medicine, the autopsy report shows, wasn’t enough to stop the seizures that killed Ryley.

The former nurse, who hasn’t been charged, has no criminal record.

In 2015, she filed for bankruptcy, saying she made $1,400 a month as a nurse. She listed debts of more than $44,000, including more than $6,000 in medical bills.

She is now working at a hair salon in the Battle Creek area. She refused to comment.

Ryley’s mom said she wants to see the woman in court.

“I would tell her how much I suffered, how much my kids suffered, just watching them go through this,” she said.